Traffic Stop Procedures

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Lenoir City, Loudon County (WVLT) – The investigation into a former Tennessee Highway Patrolman linked to a porn star is widening.

Authorities are now reviewing more than 25 traffic stops involving James Randy Moss.

The district attorney says publicity surrounding Moss' alleged sexual encounter with Justis Richert have prompted other women to come forward.

Moss resigned before he was fired.

But prosecutors are going ahead with a full criminal investigation.

Richert described her encounter with moss in her blog.

According to her description, the traffic stop started routine, then changed.

A traffic stop can be one of the most dangerous jobs a police officer does. Procedures and policies are in place try to control the situation.

With a little help from police in Lenoir City, Allison Hunt learned more about that procedure.

The procedures are in place to not only protect the officer, but to protect you as well.

So what are these procedures and if you are in an uncomfortable situation, what can you do?

Before you see blue lights in your rear view mirror, officers have information about you and your vehicle.

When officers spot a violation, they call dispatch.

"For their safety, they know where our officer is and they have the vehicle information and description,” says Lenoir City Police Chief Don White.

That way, officers know what precautions to take when approaching your vehicle.

"If you're moving around the vehicle, and going into a glove box that's going to concern the officer, because he doesn't know what you're doing,” Chief White explains.

So stay still and wait for directions.

You probably know the drill, but did you know you can ask for back-up?

"It's your right to ask that officer that you'd like to see a supervisor, that you're uncomfortable with the situation,” says Chief White.

Also, if you're a woman, you can ask to have a female officer present, and if one is not available, if necessary, a male officer will pat a female down with the back of their hands.

If an officer sees probable cause, you will be asked to get out of your car. But they should not. "Bring them back and putting them in the vehicle and taking them somewhere else or telling them to drive to another location."

If a cruiser has a camera, the officer must stay in view at all times.

"If we went back to review the tape and the officer had stepped out of the line of the camera or turned his mic off then that would definitely be an issue of policy violation,” Chief White says.

And if procedures are followed, a stop should be safe for you and the officer.

Chief White tells WVLT that he is concerned about what he's heard about the incident allegedly involving James Moss.

And it does concern him.

He says he hopes all of his officers always conduct themselves in a professional manner and he hopes he never has to deal with a situation like that.


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